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Have you ever tried to load a webpage or video, but after waiting a few seconds with no luck, gave up and moved on with your day? Your customers are often just like you. Studies show 40 percent of visitors will leave your website if the loading process takes more than 3 seconds, and the rest won’t wait much longer. While there is plenty you can do to fix this, online wait times will soon be a problem of the past.
And the solution is changing the face of business.
If you’re tech savvy, you might already know the deal: we’re talking about 5G, or fifth generation cellular network technology. 5G combines cutting-edge network technology with some of the latest communications research, and offers download speeds above 1GBps. For comparison, your home WiFi network is probably less than 1/10 this speed, and many current cell networks are about 1/100 of it.
Needless to say, 5G is entirely unprecedented. At these speeds, you could download the first four seasons of Peaky Blinders (in HD) in under half a minute.
The other perk, similar to high speeds, is the “low latency” of these networks. This means the wait time from the moment you press a link or start streaming a video to the moment it actually starts loading is about 20x faster than before.
With these near-instantaneous speeds soon available to the general public, we’re going to have more people online than ever, particularly on mobile. This new wave of potential customers will be able to access every page on your site, and every video, with zero wait times. Since wait times are such a huge reason for high bounce rates (i.e. visitors leaving your site), more visitors will be hanging around to actually watch the video they were trying to load, so you can use this as an opportunity to make your website and its videos more engaging.
This is all exciting stuff, but if you’re anything like us, you’re mostly wondering: what does this mean for marketing?
In a broad sense, these connections will allow more people to go online from more places, faster than ever. This makes it easier to participate in every kind of online market. A rising tide lifts all boats, and all digital markets will grow because more people can participate in them.
Further, with a larger pool of potential customers to target, you can be even more specific with who you advertise to, meaning your marketing will be much more effective, so long as you put in the effort to optimize your customer targeting.
While video has already established itself as an essential part of digital marketing, 5G will take it to a whole new level. To start, no more wait times for a video to load -- no matter the device.
Most websites today rely on text and supporting images - if a company relied entirely on video, they would risk losing customers whose internet speeds couldn’t handle it. With 5G, developers could finally move toward video-centric websites. A website’s homepage could host an overview video, along with videos for specific products and services. A “careers” section could provide recruiting videos for each job opening, and clear visual instructions for how best to apply.
Each video could include a clickable call to action, whether to place an order, sign up for a mailing list, or schedule a free consultation. They might even send hesitant customers to other videos for further information.
According to Impact: “currently, 60% of tablet or video viewing is still in the home over broadband. 5G will allow us to consume large video files anywhere on any device. Faster speeds have many implications for marketers, but upping our game in video marketing should definitely be a priority.”
The sooner you start thinking of more ways to use video in your marketing efforts, the better prepared you’ll be to benefit from 5G.
Video already provides a rich platter of analytics, but 5G allows you to access this data in real time. So if you wanted to optimize or adjust a marketing campaign as it’s running (whether by yourself or through the use of an automated program), you could maximize your ad spend effectiveness to an unheard-of degree.
For instance, if you advertise your products online and a customer buys the product (from you or one from your competitors), you can automatically stop advertising that product to them (which would now be a waste of money) and instead serve them ads about related products they might now need, as well as other relevant accessories and upgrades.
Location services on 5G are also incredibly precise. This is great news if you have a physical shop: you could hypertarget your ads toward anyone who comes within a certain distance of your location. As cars integrate 5G for example, a driver who starts having issues with their car within 10 miles of your shop (or needs an oil change soon) could easily receive an ad and Google Maps directions to your repair shop at the ideal moment.
While video will become integral with such speeds, 5G could also be huge in Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), because these media forms will suddenly become easy to load from any device. No more waiting for some cool new experience to load: shoppers could load up a product simulation, such as trying on new clothes, experimenting with new home furnishings, or digitally testing out what their car would look like with a different paint job -- almost instantly.
Conclusion: 5G Will Have a Major Impact on Business. Don’t Wait to Prepare.
When 4G networks launched, it led to the launch of apps that wouldn’t have worked with slower network speeds: Facebook, Spotify, and Uber, for instance. Expect 5G to have a similar, if not more extreme, impact.
While 5G has been rolling out slowly to smaller test markets in 2019, you can expect big changes in 2020 and 2021. You still have time to prepare, so long as you get started on making video and similar digital experiences a more central part of your website. Soon enough you might not be able to compete without it.
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